As Lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata quoted in the famous Mahama Vrs Electoral Commission supreme court case of 2021, Hosea 8:7 “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind. The stalk has no head; it will produce no flour. Were it to yield grain, foreigners would swallow it up.”
After Hon. Abdulai Abanga of the NPP defeated Dr Robert Kuganab Lem to snatch the only seat for NPP in the Upper East Region, the then NDC constituency secretary, IMORO Mohammed who was a very close ally of Dr Robert Kuganab lem single handedly wrote the constituency report and put the blame for the election loss on Simon Azimbe and His Close Allies.
Well. Who wouldn’t have expected such, because it was clear to almost everybody that Imoro and his boss wanted to win the election without involving some party members so that they could continue to brag about how they won an election without the assistance of the much praised Simon Azimbe. After winning the primaries against him, Dr Kuganab had openly bragged about defeating Simon Azimbe whom everybody said was the brain behind his previous election victories. He seemed to be more interested in celebrating a victory against Simon Azimbe than wanting to unite the party for the impending presidential and parliamentary elections
The Regional Executives upon receiving the said constituency report tasked a disciplinary committee to investigate the allegations against Simon Azimbe and his allies. It is worth noting that one of the three disciplinary committee members was a leading member of Dr Kuganab’s campaign team that went head to head against Simon Azimbe in the primaries.
The disciplinary committee finally released its report suspending Simon Azimbe and his allies. Imagine that Dr Kuganab lost the election even when those he claimed caused his defeat were still party members, what do you think will happen now that they have been suspended because of Dr Kuganab? Your guess is as good as mine. If Dr Kuganab manages to win the primaries and NDC even succeeds in getting the suspended people to sleep and dine in Dr Kuganab’s house, believe you me all the supporters and sympathizers of the suspended people will still punish Dr Kuganab for the political destruction that he caused on those that he masterminded their suspension. NDC might have to end up suspending all the thousands of people who will switch to vote for the NPP candidate.
Reading through the report and its findings, one will realize that the committee actually found the main cause of the defeat but were only interested in punishing those they thought were threat to their preferred candidates in the just ended Constituency executive elections and the Impending Parliamentary primaries. Anthony D’Angelo said that “when solving problems dig at the roots instead of just hacking at the leaves” the committee intentional refused to dig the roots of the problem in Binduri but rather hacked off some leaves.
Is it not strange and funny that a disciplinary committee formed to investigate the allegations of misconduct levelled against some party members will say that “Significant among the terms of reference for the disciplinary committee is to unravel the exact causes of this long-term menace of “one term” practice and proffer workable recommendations” is one term a menace? If indeed one term is a menace in the NDC then why don’t they just allow all MPs to contest for two terms instead of holding primaries every four years. Even if one term in Binduri is a menace can’t NDC form a Committee to find the causes and recommend solutions? Does it have to take a disciplinary committee formed to investigate allegations against party members who will have to unravel the cause of one term menace? Setting out with such an agenda more likely made the committee bias and wanting to find issues where there was none.
Many people in Binduri believe that the best group of people whose opinion should have been considered in drawing conclusion and findings should have been the words of opinion leaders and party elders because they were more likely to be telling the truth. Yet the committee decided to rely on the words of people who belonged to the Dr Kuganab divide to suspend those belonging to the Simon Azimbe divide. If the Simon Azimbe side also had the support of some people at the top and a secretary on their side they would have equally also made up more than enough numbers to serve as witnesses against Dr Kuganab and his divide. Below are the exacts words of party elders and Opinion leaders who were interviewed by the committee and captured in the committee’s own report.
- Daniel Aruk “the NPP candidate started his campaign almost a year to the election while the NDC’s candidate, three months to election had not started. Some of them (elders) started receiving reports and concerns from worried party members and sympathizers about the silence of the party”-
- Lucy Awuni “(Former Upper East Deputy Regional Minister) as far back June-July 2020, she called the MP more than four occasions to prevail upon him to come home and start the campaign but he kept on assuring him that, he was coming. This led to the decision of contacting the Regional Chairman for support to start the campaign ahead of the MP. She said, when they exhausted the money given to them by the Regional Chairman and there were still other areas that were covered, they had go back to him for additional funding which he honored. She also told the committee that, when the news got to the MP about the work of the elders, he asked them to provide a budget so that, he will release some funds for their activities. The budget was prepared and handed over to the MP and for the entire period of the campaign, he did not get back to them “
- Ndego Ben also told the committee about his several unsuccessful attempts to get the MP to do the right thing to unite the party “He drove from Bazua to meet him at Zebilla and shared what he gathered from the aggrieved executive with him and proposed to reconcile all the constituency executives but needed to inform him first. Unfortunately, the MP told him that, it was not possible and so, he should stop the attempt. When he returned to Binduri from Zebilla, he decided to invite other stakeholders of the party to seek their opinions on the way forward; the feedback was that, there was the need to organize a meeting (bigger one) that will have all the important persons in the party present and the MP making a statement of apology and that settles every problem going into the election Again, the MP refused the advice that, the stakeholders proposed through him to the MP. At this juncture, he got annoyed and told him that, the intransigence from him will cost his political career and when that happens, he should not blame anyone for his afflictions”
- “According to Luis Mbun out of the twenty-eight Constituency Executives, four (Chairman, Secretary, Women Organizer, Deputy Communication Officer) supported the MP and the remaining twenty-four also supported Azimbe Simon at the 2019 Parliamentary Primaries. These divisions existed beyond the Primaries into all events preceding the 2020 General Elections”.
I hope at this point you are asking the same questions am asking, who was responsible for uniting the party and who is to blame for the person’ refusal to listen to advise and unite the party? Well am sure you will also agree with me at this point that whoever decides to blame Simon Azimbe instead of Dr Robert Kuganab Lem is surely doing so for personal gains or hatred.
- “According to John Abuma, the PC was so complacent to the extent that, he over-delayed in starting the campaign. Anytime the MP’s attention was drawn to the magnitude of work the NPP candidate had undertaken and was still not relenting, the feedback from the MP was always that, he knew what he was doing to win the election, as if, the one drawing the attention was looking for his downfall”
- “Bad blood between the MP and Simon Azimbe: According to Lucy Awuni (Former Deputy Regional Minister), the relationship between the two became sour to the extent that Constituency, Branch executives and other party loyalists who were supporters of Simon Azimbe were in serious conflict with the MP’s loyalists. Odium and the personalization of campaigns at the primaries created a sharp difference between the two. This development emanated from the excesses of the parliamentary primaries. Though, the elders met Simon Azimbe and he joined the elders to campaign, the effect did not resonate well with his followers to generate the desired results”
Take note that Lucy Awuni mentioned that Simon Azimbe joined them to campaign. Then went on to say the effect did not resonate well with his followers. If an 18 years old child commits a crime do the courts sentence his father for not whipping him in Line? Yet the committee members in their bid to suspend Simon Azimbe said that “Simon Azimbe failed to whip his supporters, some of whom were executives of the party into campaigning for the party’s parliamentary candidate”
Am wondering what will happen now that Simon Azimbe has been suspended, just imagine the level of damage those followers will do if Dr Kuganab becomes the PC. if the PC himself was not ready to work for the unity don’t you think he is rather the one deserving of a suspension? Indeed, the work done by this disciplinary committee leaves a lot to be desired but the people of Binduri will surely make sure the right thing is done if nobody else holds this committee accountable.
- The MP lacked the needed diplomacy and political language: According to Lucy Awuni (Former Upper East Regional Minister), another contributing factor to the MP’s defeat was his bad utterances. An example is, a certain church in the constituency requested for roofing sheets from the MP to roof their church building and he promised to support. Unfortunately, when he was not able to give the support as promised and the project’s timelines were also elapsing, the church reminded him of the request and this was what he told the church “Did I ask you ask you to build a church”. He indeed, did not meet the request of the church. Another weakness of the MP was that, he believed and held onto firsthand information without crosschecking to confirm information given to him. He despised people who he perceived to have opposed him, forgetting that in politics and as part of the strategies, the leader accommodates all kinds of characters just so, the bad ones do not get the lean way to perpetuate their interest which at the end becomes injurious to the party’s fortunes.
“On the part of Ben Ndego, the MP practiced the “Divide and rule” tactic, where some executives and party members were the only people the MP listened to and worked with their advice and recommendations. Unfortunately, this tactic though, it is one that is commonly employed by leaders, the MP could not manage it leading to a burst up and the subsequent result of a defeat. He told the committee that, the MP also had issues with some traditional leaders, where he and Luis Mbun had to visit some of them in the eve of the election to ask forgiveness on behalf of the MP. As to how this intervention could impact positively on the election especially the period it took place, frankly speaking, would have only yielded a minimal impact”
- Election Day Issues and other related matters: “According to Ben Ndego, the provision of party security to police the polls on Election Day was extremely poor. He stated that, apart from his zone (Bazua), where he and Luis Mbun moved from polling station to polling station, to create “party visibility” for the party agents to be assured of the Party’s support (this provides motivation) and to send a signal to the opposition party of the party’s vigilance over the polls, the rest of the zones had no security to undertake any serious vigilance over the polls. These shortfalls came about as a result of poor planning emanating from the MP’s intransigence on bringing onboard all stakeholders of the party to have an effective Election Day monitoring exercise
If more than ninety-five percent of the concerned elders and opinion leaders who appeared before this committee indicated to them the real cause of the Rot in Binduri NDC as proven above, one will wonder why they still went ahead to rather use evidence from less credible people to end up blaming the wrong people if not for personal gains or hatred.
People are annoyed in Binduri and if the right thing is not done a much bigger disgrace awaits those who have sown the wind, for the people of Binduri will surely make sure they reap the whirlwind.
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